Bodegas Barbadillo Opts for Diversification
Bodegas Barbadillo is one of Jerez’s classics, but not only is it famous for producing a great range of wines under this appellation, it also makes the best-selling white in Spain, ‘Castillo de San Diego’, a Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz wine. In addition to this, it also owns a bodega under DO Ribera del Duero and 76 percent of a bodega under DO Somontano. A real example of commercial diversification
Established in 1821 in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Bodegas Barbadillo fulfils a centuries old tradition as a one-hundred percent winemaking family bodega under the appellations of Jerez-Xeres-Sherry, Vinos de la Tierra de Cádiz and DO Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda. This last appellation being a clear leader with over 50 percent of the market share.
Barbadillo, the Sherry Triangle's main manzanilla producer
Owner of over 500 hectares of vineyards, shared between the estates of Gibalbín and Santa Lucía, Bodegas Barbadillo personally controls all the processes in the vineyard, as well as ageing, bottling and distribution. The bodega, spread over the whole of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, surrounds the medieval Castillo de Santiago (Santiago Castle), occupying a total surface area of over 75,000 m² with a capacity of 35,000,000 litres, making it the largest bodega in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Furthermore, Barbadillo has become the Sherry Triangle’s main manzanilla producer: ‘Solear’ and ‘Muyfina’ being two of its exceptional brands.
However, if there is another single piece of evidence that visibly demonstrates this bodegas’s greatness it is the pioneering spirit that led it to make ‘Castillo de San Diego’, Andalusia’s very first white wine, (it came on the market in 1975), that has gone on to have great commercial success. In fact, it is currently the best-selling white wine in Spain.
Bodegas Barbadillo is also the owner of the most modern vitification installations; endorsed by the most important certificates in environmental management such as the AENOR ISO 9002, the BVQi ISO 9002, the Doñana 21 and the AENOR ISO 14001.
Not only whites in Cádiz
And as if that were not enough, the enterprising spirit of its founders, Benigno Barbadillo and Manuel López Barbadillo, is still visibly present in the family even after six generation. Evidence of this is in the globalisation of their main brands, the development of an Andalusia red wine, ‘Gibalbín’, and the opening of other appellations and projects directly related to their main business activity. Other examples are the company takeovers of Bodegas y Viñedos Vega Real and DO Ribera del Duero and, more recently, the acquisition of 76 percent of the shares in Bodega Pirineos under DO Somontano.
Bodegas Barbadillo’s products are currently present in more than 50 countries, the most important being the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and the US, and exports more than 40 per cent of its production.
Despite all that has been said, this family bodega stands out primarily for the wines it makes in Andalusia. Starting with the wines under DO Jerez y Manzanilla de Sanlúcar, the catalogue is extensive and includes Manzanillas such as ‘Solear’ or ‘Muy Fina’; Manzanilla en Rama, two dry sherries classed as V.O.S. (‘Very Old Sherry’, over 20 years old): the Amontillado wine ‘Príncipe’ and the dry Oloroso ‘Cuco’; a V.O.R.S. sherry (‘Very Old Rare Sherry’ over 30 years old), the Palo Cortado wine ‘Obispo Gascón’; four sweet sherries: the Pedro Ximénez wine ‘La Cilla’, the sweet Oloroso ‘Eva Cream’, the Moscatel ‘Laura’ and the Amoroso wine ‘San Rafael’. There is also a series of wines the bodega calls “Reliquias Barbadillo”, four sherries (Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado and Pedro Ximénez), that are the synthesis that embodies the history of the Salúcar de Barrameda six generations. These wines, that since the first half of the 19th century have honoured the long silence of the centuries-old slow ageing process, are sold in limited editions and presented in decanter style bottles that are handmade using traditional glass blowing methods.
These ‘antiques’ deserve that extra care given to them by the devotion and respect of the Barbadillo family. The ‘Amontillado’, bright old gold in colour, stands out for its complex balance. A sharp wine, dry and elegant with hints of bitter almond. Full and very dry in the mouth, it brings to mind its saline far-off biological ageing, the same as Manzanilla, and seduces with its fine touches of noble wood and singular bearing. A wine the Barbadillos believe ought to be meditated over. ‘Extra Dry Oloroso’ is a dark mahogany colour with amber gold highlights, among which pleasant and intense aromas of noble woods and dry fruits flow, affording us the intensity of their presence: Old and full-bodied. A wine to remember, according to this Cádiz family’s opinion. The ‘Palo Cortado’ wine stands out for its iodised old gold colour, clean and with mahogany highlights. A wine that pleasantly prickles our senses and whose background taste of noble woods and bitter nuances mark the ritual of contemplation and enjoyment of its complexity and elegance. A wine to keep. And lastly, the ‘Pedro Ximénez’ wine has a dense and silky nature with a finish that lasts the equivalent of a happy memory. A wine the Barbadillos consider the high point of a great meal.
Still wines from Cádiz, Ribera del Duero and Somontano
Away from DO Jerez, but still in Andalusia, Bodegas Barbadillo makes two whites under the label Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz: ‘Castillo de San Diego’ and ‘Maestrante’, both Palomino Fino single varietal wines.
Bodegas Barbadillo is the owner of Bodegas y Viñedos Vega Real under DO Ribera del Duero, located in the heart of the appellation in the vicinity of Castrillo de Duero, around eight kilometres from Peñafiel. Here their estate is planted with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These grapes make three wines with a similar composition but with different ageing: ‘Vega Real Joven’, ‘Vega Real Crianza’ and ‘Vega Real Reserva’.
The wines made at Bodegas Pirineos under DO Somontano, three quarters of which is owned by the Barbadillo family, constitute a more complete catalogue featuring two brands: ‘Montesierra’ and ‘Pirineos’.
Bodegas Pirineos cultivates Macabeo, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer, among the white varieties, and Tempranillo, Moristel, Parreleta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnacha and Syrah, among the reds.
The ‘Montesierra’ range is made up of a white, a rosé, a young red, a crianza, a young ecological wine, ‘Señorío de Lazán Crianza’, ‘Señorío de Lazán Reserva’ and the latest release, the new ‘Alquézar Rosado’, made primarily from Tempranillo but with a touch of Moristel.
The ‘Montesierra’ range is made up of a white, a rosé, a young red, a crianza, a young ecological wine, ‘Señorío de Lazán Reserva’, ‘Señorío de Lazán Reserva Especial’ and the latest release, the new ‘Alquézar Rosado’, made primarily from Tempranillo but with a touch of Moristel.
Whereas, the ‘Pirineos’ range is made up of a Gewürztraminer single varietal, a rosé and a crianza, made from a coupage of Merlot and Cabernet, as well as some top-of-the-range wines such as ‘Mesache Tinto’, ‘Mesache Blanco’ and ‘Marboré’.
On top of maintaining and creating all of these products, in 2002, Bodegas Barbadillo opened the Barbadillo Manzanilla Museum offering a rich heritage of winery tradition to the public.
Without doubt, at Bodegas Barbadillo, tradition, innovation and diversification embody the firm foundations of its family philosophy.
Established in 1821 in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Bodegas Barbadillo fulfils a centuries old tradition as a one-hundred percent winemaking family bodega under the appellations of Jerez-Xeres-Sherry, Vinos de la Tierra de Cádiz and DO Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda